“Today, I have a sad duty to confirm the death of 63-year-old Julie Dimper Holowach of New York yesterday as a result of a shark attack while sailing near Bailey Island,” said Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR). statement.
Kayaks in the area took Holowach ashore and called an ambulance, DMR reported Monday. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“In such a situation, the fact that they were able to kayak in that place and take the body back to shore was nothing short of miraculous.”; Said Keliher. “We sincerely thank them.”
The diver was not injured and recorded the incident in a video. According to the CBC, the shark thought the diver’s camera was food
Keliher said the shark that killed Holowach was a great white shark. A fragment of the teeth could have helped the researchers positively identify the species. These sharks are common in Maine waters this time of year, but are relatively rare, according to The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.
A Maine maritime patrol on Tuesday inspected the area by boat and air, but did not spot any sharks at the location, Beal said at the conference.
“This is a tragic, but also an isolated case, in which we try to mark what the state has never seen,” Beal said.
Officials stressed that there is no need to swim or paddle around school fish or seals as they are shark prey. More active patrols will continue in the area, and when a shark is spotted, they are encouraged to call a local officer in the Marine Patrol Squad, Bealy said.
DNA will continue to investigate the attack, Keliher said. He works with Gregory Skomal, a senior scientist in the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries. Keliher added that Skomal will review data on about 200 sharks that have been tagged in Massachusetts to see if they have moved north.
CNN’s Travis Nichols contributed to this report.